Growing up in a strange, artist family has its advantages. Nick Hill (Phourist) spent his childhood surrounded by surreal paintings of glimmering trees, quaint landscapes, illustrations for horror, science-fiction and fantasy magazines, endless shelves of comics, sci-fi/fantasy novels and the nearly ever-present hum of music in the background. Almost relentlessly encouraged by his family to pursue a career in whatever he wanted, the idea of being a lawyer, doctor or any of the traditionally encouraged paths to well-being very rarely came up. It was always going to be some type of career in the arts.
The decision to pursue music in specific was fairly gradual in its birth. As a youngster, Hill played around with instruments like his grandmother’s organ, most of the time just trying to make pleasing, ambient sounds (possibly a result of the lack of working keys on the organ). According to family members, young Nick would hum soundtracks all the time, to a fairly great degree of complexity, just for fun, demonstrating an affinity for music. His parent’s interest in music probably rubbed off on Hill, as his father played guitar and wrote folk songs and his mother wrote a classically influenced piece on the guitar and played cello. They also listened to a variety of music and would often attend music festivals and the like, obviously taking little squirt Nick with them.
In addition to his parents, other family members had a great impact on the decision to become a musician. A pair of his cousins formed a band called “Cabin,” performing remarkably good music. This was unmistakably a great influence.
The sound which Phourist now produces could best be described as classically influenced, experimental, folk, progressive, ambient, singer/songwriter, compositional music, with an emphasis on melody and atmosphere.
But what is up with that name? “Phourist” (pronounced exactly like the word “forest”) is an alternate spelling of Hill‘s middle name “Forrest“ which combines both the word “forest” and the word “phosphorescence”. Phosphorescent light evokes a feeling of the ambient mystical unknown, and was something that Hill and his family thought would be cool as part of a stage name. This idea was stumbled upon over a dinner conversation.
The goal, according to Hill, is to create. In a world with so much destruction, creation is one of the great values of all artists (also beings in general). Creation of something beautiful (or just anything that moves people, it could be ugly) can lift peoples spirits and make the world a better place. If the music created by Phourist does this at all, then something good has been accomplished.